Study Tips For College Students

Looking for study tips to help you buckle down for an upcoming exam? Read about the best study tips to help you improve your focus and concentration while hitting the books.

Everybody always tells you how great of a decision it is to go to college. But nobody ever really talks about the grueling hours you’ll need to spend cracking down and studying. 

Especially if you’re trying to balance school with a full-time job or any type of family responsibilities, it can often feel like you’ll never find the time to be able to sit down and study. 

That’s why it’s important to make the most of your time while you’re in school. And I’m not going to sugar coat it, it’s going to take a lot of self-discipline, focus, and concentration. 

But that doesn’t mean that studying needs to be a nightmare. 

Maybe you’ve already found your own study routine, but if you’re looking for some new ways to ramp up your studies, check out the following list of easy and actionable study tips for college students. 

Unplug and Focus Your Mind – Study Tips

The very best study tip we can give you is to unplug yourself from the digital world. 

This means turning off your email notifications, logging out of social media, powering down your smartphone, tablet, or laptop, and focusing your mind on hitting the books. 

If you find yourself struggling to stay away from your electronics, you might even try storing them in another room while you’re studying. Or better yet, leave them at home and take your books over to your local library or cafe to study in a nice, quiet environment. 

By removing yourself from the easy temptation to check your electronics, you’ll be able to enhance your ability to focus and work more efficiently at learning and retaining information. 

Study Tips

Find Your Auditory Space

Everybody is different, but we all have our own preferences when it comes down to an optimal environment to study in. 

For example, some students prefer to study while listening to calm, instrumental music. While others prefer to listen to loud, heavy rock and roll music to be able to focus and concentrate. It’s the same as how some people find droning news radio in the background to be perfect background noise for concentration and study, while others need complete silence in order to focus. 

By finding your perfect auditory space, you’ll be able to better avoid your environmental distractions and focus more on your studies. 

Feed Your Brain – Study Tips

Did you know that our brains are our bodies’ most energy-demanding organs? And that during a single day, the brain can use up to nearly half of the body’s total sugar energy?

According to the Harvard Mahoney Neuroscience Institute, brain function is very closely linked to the body’s glucose levels, as well as how efficiently the brain is able to process information. 

So without the right kind of sugars, your brain won’t be able to produce neurotransmitters efficiently, leading to a breakdown in communication between your neurons. In turn, this makes tasks such as focus and concentration much harder to achieve. 

Also, studies have shown that when your blood glucose levels are too low, your brain’s cognitive functioning can be significantly impaired. Just like being drunk or being over-exhausted.

With that said, another extremely important study tip is to stay nourished and properly hydrated. 

And try to avoid sugary snacks and junk foods. These unhealthy snacks do provide bursts of sugar and energy. But their effects are short-lived, and when your body crashes afterward, concentration can be next to impossible. 

Tune Into Your Circadian Rhythm.

Again, we’re all different. So it’s important to tune into your own circadian rhythm and find out when your most focused times of the day are. 

For example, you might be an early-riser who functions best first thing after their morning coffee. 

Or maybe, you’re the type of person who doesn’t feel focused until it’s dark out and everybody has gone to sleep. 

Regardless, it’s important to learn when your brain functions its best, and build your study routine around your unique energy pattern. 

This way, when you do actually sit down to hit the books, no matter what time of day it is, your mind will be at its freshest and most alert. 

Create A Study Schedule

Successful students find it extremely helpful to create a study schedule and to stick with it consistently throughout the year. 

That means creating a daily, weekly, or monthly routine that works with your home and family life. 

Just make sure to block out time for attending your classes, studying for tests and exams, writing papers, and simply reading up on any new course material. 

And don’t forget to block out a bit of time for rest and relaxation as well. You won’t be able to study effectively if your brain and body are already exhausted. 

Study Tips

Keep Your Books With You – Study Tips

Another super simple study tip is to always bring your reading materials or notebooks with you when you head out of the house. 

You never know when you might find yourself with an extra twenty or thirty minutes to kill. 

And by having your books with you, if you do find yourself needing to kill some time, you can make the most of it by whipping out your textbooks and brushing up on your studies. 

Making the most of every chance you get to study is a sure-fire way to ensure you have what it takes to succeed in your course. 

Making The Most Of Your Studies

If you find it hard to find time for your studies, you’re not alone. There are hundreds of thousands of students all across the country that find it hard to find time to sit down and hit the books. 

But that doesn’t mean that studying has to be a nightmare. 

By following these 6 awesome study tips, you’ll be able to better manage your study time and make the most of every chance you do get to hit the books. 

3 Effective Study Methods for Acing Your College Midterms

3 Effective Study Methods for Acing Your College Midterms

College midterms are right around the corner. Cue all the panic.

Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, midterms can bring on intense amounts of pressure. Here are our three favorite pieces of advice for acing your college midterms (without heaps of stress).

Take Study Breaks with This Simple Trick

Are you cramming a ton of material into a weekend study session?

It might sound simple, but make sure to factor in plenty of breaks if you want to retain the material better. Ever heard of the Pomodoro Technique? It’s a time management method that can help you get the most out of your study session.

Here’s how it works. You break your study material down into smaller, more manageable chunks (and it really works). The Pomodoro Technique is easy:

  • You pick a task, like a few chapters you need to read or an outline you plan to write. 
  • Set a timer for 25 minutes. During the next 25 minutes, you have to promise yourself that you won’t do anything BUT that task. 
  • Work on the task without any interruptions until the timer goes off. When the timer goes off, take a quick break. Spend 5 minutes doing anything but work, whether it’s stretching or grabbing some more coffee. 
  • After your 5-minute break, start the timer again for the next task. Rinse and repeat. Once you’ve done this 4 times, take a longer break for 20 or 30 minutes.

It works because our brain needs rest in order to concentrate. It’s also easy to get sidetracked by our phone, Netflix, or stress. Using the Pomodoro method helps eliminate some of those distractions.

You can manually set a timer on your phone. I personally use a free app called BeFocused so I don’t have to mess with a timer, but either way works! BeFocused is an iPhone app, but if you have an Android use you can use something like Pomodoro Timer.

 

3 Effective Study Methods for Acing Your College Midterms

Don’t Forget to Breathe

Is breathing something you consciously think about? It can save you from stress.

We’re slammed during midterm season. When we’re hit with the overwhelm of studying for everything at once and our to-do list is packed with endless tasks, we forget how to take deep breaths.

Not only can meditation help you remember your material better, but you also don’t need to spend a ton of time doing it to reap the benefits. I was terrible at meditating when I first tried it. I use the free version of the app Headspace to help (available via iPhone and Android). All it takes is three minutes and you instantly feel better!

Even if you’re not interested in meditation, focus on deep breathing when insane amounts of stress begin to hit you. Here’s how you do it:

  • Place your hand on your stomach. Take a deep breath in through your nose until you feel your stomach begin to rise. Note: you want the air to enter all the way into your belly instead of just your chest.  
  • Breathe out through your nose. But make sure your exhale is even longer than your inhale (this is essential). If you inhale for 4 seconds, exhale for 5 seconds. 
  • Repeat for 3-5 minutes! Try it out; you’re guaranteed to instantly feel calmer and less stressed.

3 Effective Study Methods for Acing Your College Midterms

 

Start Your Study Plan Now

Don’t wait to get started! Figure out your study plan a couple weeks in advance.

It seems like professors all schedule their midterms at the same time, right? Enter panic mode.

If you want to avoid major anxiety this semester, get your study schedule nailed down now.

Planning out what days you’ll study, creating your own study guides, and organizing the material will help you prioritize every class. This way you’re not devoting all of your time and energy to just one class.

Your personal study guides can be a simple outline of key topics and ideas you plan to study. Getting a game plan together now will help clear your head.